Cape Town - Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis has reassured Keshav Maharaj on his vital place in the side despite the spinner being dropped for the Newlands Test match.
Du Plessis was speaking to reporters after the Proteas cruised to a nine-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second Test on Sunday, giving the home side an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Maharaj was left out as the fit-again Vernon Philander returned to the starting XI with the Proteas opting for an all-pace attack in Cape Town.
READ: Maharaj omission a symptom of the times under Gibson
This saw the spinner assigned to twelfth-man duties as the ferocious fast bowling attack helped set up a home victory.
His omission was surprising when one considers that spin has historically been a factor late on in Test matches at Newlands and Maharaj, who boasts 90 Test wickets, may have caused some trouble for the Pakistan batsman.
Whether or not the Proteas will continue their winning formula of an all-out pace attack at the Wanderers is still to be seen, however Maharaj is still considered key to South Africa's plans moving forward.
"We have assured him already before the Test match. He is probably South Africa's best spinner that we have ever produced and he will be for a long time, and he knows that," said Du Plessis.
"It's just horses for courses when we're playing a subcontinent team that's very good against spin. As you saw in this Test match, one of the best leg spinners in the world (Yasir Shah) only got one past the bat, so how much of factor is he really?
"Keshav is a great container. He has got dual roles in the team so he could of played here and done well for the team.
"When you play against your Englands and Australias they are not as good against spin as your subcontinent teams are.
"He'll be the first name on the sheet when the pitches allow for spin. I think of PE and Durban. You look at conditions and grounds, you look at what is more uncomfortable for your opponents to face.
"I think in this specific case seam was the right call, when three guys are running in at 145 kph it's not fun for a batter."